The last time I ran new content the night it opened was Mogu’shan Vaults. I figured since I was going to be facing down Gruul again, I should dress for the occasion so after I logged on I headed straight to the Transmog vendor and mogged my gear to Tier 4 with a Hammer of the Naaru. The only thing I was missing was boots but those aren't all that noticeable on a Tauren so I picked the closest thing I had.
Now that I was dressed for the occasion, I flew over to Khad’gar’s place to buy my Timeless Solium Band of Brutality. Thanks to commentator, kevsmart, on my last post, I found out I could have a 680 Timeless Band for all three specs if I wanted to. I limited myself to only the Ret and Prot ones for now. I made sure I was ready to raid with Flasks, potions and tonics and flew out.
We formed up at the entrance to Blackrock Foundry and started clearing trash. The trash in there was no joke. One of the mobs summoned a Fire Elemental and we were all roasted like marshmallows.
And that was just the first pack.
The Orgron Hauler hit like a runaway truck pulling a freight train. We needed a tank swap on trash. Is that a first? We tried to sneak past the miners but they would have no part of it. The good news was that by the time we finally got to Gruul we had seen about 4 trash epics.
The Gruul fight provided some nice call backs to his tBC version. Shatter and Cave In were still big parts, but Inferno Slash was something altogether new. It creates a lovely tension between spreading out and grouping up.
There wasn’t much for me to worry about as melee besides spreading out for Shatter and avoiding Cave In. Everything else was really on the tanks. Part of me missed it but it did make things less stressful. It took a couple of attempts to learn the mechanics but eventually we got him down. Videos are great and necessary but you've gotta put in the pulls. I managed to pull about 18k on the kill which felt really good. I'm still gunning for a 20k showing.
I was awarded the Ring that dropped from him and there wasn't much interest in it. Even for me it was a minor upgrade from the 655 ring I had from Kargath. Our officers seem to think our stay in Normal BRF will be brief. Most of the core is rocking a bunch of 670 gear or better. 665 loot isn’t going to get anyones blood flowing. Except me, of course, I've still got a ton of 640 LFR gear.
We pulled over to Oregorger and came up to a trash pull with a bunch of little Goren. We started AoEing them down and uur DPS Warrior went nuts.
He actually peaked around 200k DPS but I was slow on the screenshot. Mists of Pandaria called. It wants its DPS numbers back.
We tried several different tanking spots for Oregorger. We needed enough room for Ranged to move out of the puddles but not be close enough to the boss to get targeted by the stun crystal that melee were dealing with. Once we got our location sorted our main problem was dealing with Acid Spit. The Dungeon Journal and online guides weren’t all that specific about how it worked and exactly what worked to mitigate the damage. Most of them didn't seem to make a big deal out of it. Acid Spit is when the boss, who one of our raid members affectionately referred to as Michelangelo because he looks like a ninja turtle, spits on the player closest to him. Aggro doesn't matter only distance. This is a little bit like the Reliquary of Souls Phase 1 mechanic if you remember back that far. Geez, I'm old.
Preferably the person closest to him is a tank. The spit does massive damage to the tank and then that damage is spit among the raid. After doing some addition research after the raid, we figured out the the damage to the tank is physical; the damage to the raid is magical (Nature). Mitigation has to work in those ways. An unglyphed Divine Protection won't help, but a glyphed one will.
We worked out a cool down rotation. Our two tanks are both Warriors so they would pop a shield wall for the first two Acid Spits and then we had to start using externals. Our Holy Paladin had a Clemency two charge Hand of Sacrifice and I offered my own (Glyphed) Hand of Sacrifice should it be needed.
Someone in the raid mentioned that Protection Paladins were a good class on the fight and my old Tankadin pride swelled. Oh, how far we have come indeed. I decided to peruse my spell book and saw that Tankadins have two good cool downs Ardent Defender and Guardian of Ancient Kings. I forgot about Divine Protection for some reason. I guess because I hadn’t really researched the fight from a tank perspective since I was trying to adapt to my new role as melee.
After a couple more wipes the raid started discussing the possibility of a 3 tank strategy. Adreline surged through me. This was a chance to be a tank. It was like someone had dangled a fresh strip of crispy bacon in front of a starving dog.
I meant to type “I volunteer” in raid chat but I was so excited all that came out was “volunteers”. Someone thought I was asking for volunteers. I didn't trust me fingers at that point so I spoke up on Team Speak and explained that I was basically saying “Me! Me! Pick me! Please! Me! Me!" I'm sure it sounded really mature.
They were gracoius enough to indeed pick me to take up the 3rd tanks spot and I switched over. We got through the first four Acid Spits okay but we took a big hit on the fifth. That at least got us into Phase 2. We got a little spread out as we ran the maze and by the time Oregorger had eaten his fill the raid was pretty decimated.
We made a couple more attempts but each ended in the maze. Even though we only got the one boss kill, it still wasn’t a bad opening night and I really enjoyed the experience. I think we'll do better on Thursday.
I really like this guild. You can tell there’s a community building here and it’s something I want to be a part of. The tanks these guys have are really strong players and they are really well geared. Looking back after the adrenaline of the night has worn off, I really hope my exuberance to jump into the 3rd tank slot didn't make a bad impression.
I’m sitting on item level 650 and I’m a little stuck on what I can do outside of guild raids to improve my gear. I need absolute nothing from Heroics and I have almost everything I need from LFR.
I guess I could try to PuG normal but as I learned while searching for a guild those PuGs are pretty hit or miss. I also think most PuGs are going to be trying Normal BRF rather than Highmaul. I doubt we’ll see Heroic Highmaul PuGs for quite some time.